There are usually two sides to the chore debate: those that pay for chores, and those that don’t. I am on the “don’t pay for chores” side and I would like to tell you why.
Why My Children Don’t Get Paid for Chores
They Live Here Too – We are family, we all live in the same house. We all contribute to the dust, dirt, grime, clutter, etc. Therefore we will all work to clean it up. So when I ask someone to vacuum and they protest, I say, “Did you spend time in this room this week? Then you contributed to the dirt and you can contribute to cleaning it.”
Teamwork and Community – Learning to pitch in and help is teaching good teamwork and community skills. Working for the greater good and not just because you made the mess is an important skill to cultivate.
Someday They Will Move Out – Someday our kids will move out of our house and have to manage a place of their own. That means they will need to know how to dust, what cleaning products to use for what job, how to sort and fold laundry, etc.
It Isn’t About The Money – If I am paying my children to do chores it becomes about the money, and that isn’t what I want the focus to be. I want them to learn to be diligent workers, even when no one is looking! I want them to learn the value of cleaning up after oneself so the mess doesn’t get out of hand.
In the end I want them to learn about hard work, teamwork, and the value of doing a good job. I will often hear moms talk about how they make their kids lunches and prepare their snacks at night, how they are always picking up after them and doing all the housework. For just a moment I will feel twinge of guilt that my children make their own lunches and prepare their snacks, and then I realize that I am creating capable human beings, ones that will grow up knowing how to care for themselves and help maintain a household. It is then that I don’t feel guilty anymore.